Thursday, January 7, 2016

A new flea beetle: Notomela joliveti

Flea beetles are small, jumping beetles of the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae). They are similar to other leaf beetles, but characteristically the femur of their hindlegs is greatly enlarged. This allows for the springing action of these insects when disturbed hence the name flea beetles.

These beetles feed on plants, eating the surface of the leaves, stems and petals. Some larvae are root feeders.

Today's new species was found on São Tomé and Principe, an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. The authors say about the name of the new species: With great pleasure we name the new species after our friend Pierre Jolivet, the “Great Old Man” of all the chrysomelid workers around the world.

For the experts: The Afrotropical flea beetle genus Notomela Jacoby, 1899 is reviewed. Notomela joliveti sp.n. from Principe Island is described. The following new synonymies are established: N. cyanipennis Jacoby, 1899 = N. viridipennis Bryant, 1941, syn. n. = N. cyanipennis macrosoma Bechyné, 1959, syn. n. In addition, the new combination is established: Notomela fulvofasciata Jacoby, 1903 is transfered to Amphimela [A. fulvofasciata (Jacoby, 1903), comb. n.]. Micrographs of male and female genitalia, scanning electron micrographs of some diagnostic morphological characters, a key to identification, and distributional data for all species of Notomela, are provided.

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